It is accepted knowledge that the number of outings, the time of year (low season or outside the hunting season), the breed, as well as the dog's diet are all factors which can influence the animal's energy.
It is accepted knowledge that the number of outings, the time of year (low season or outside the hunting season), the breed, as well as the dog's diet are all factors which can influence the animal's energy. However, some of our helpers are continually in a state of excessive excitement. Is that normal? What may be the causes? Should we at all costs seek to channel this overflowing energy? This article provides some of the answers.
Just like human beings, some dogs overflow with energy every day. Whether it is when you get home, when you go for a walk in the forest with it, when someone shows up at home or when you take the dog out of its carrier to start your day of hunting, your four-legged companion can get excessively excited. It therefore appears important to be able to identify the causes and triggers inciting that state. Observation is the first essential step in understanding why your dog is a ball of energy: pay attention to its attitudes, its behaviour, the environment in which it hunts, and external stimuli. Then, try to see if the dog is more euphoric (positive arousal) or anxious (negative arousal). From the point of view of the work to be carried out (calling in dog training experts or not), this difference is essential: it provides pointers for improvement. This is the reason why we advise you to be particularly attentive and not to neglect this part.
An energetic, excited dog just wants your attention: it is its way of claiming consideration. Our helpers learn quickly. If they see that by adopting a euphoric attitude you take care of them, if only to scold them or otherwise, you will have responded to their demand for attention. You must therefore understood that it is you, and only you, who must be at the origin and at the initiative of the contacts and of the attention that you wish to give them. To sum up: ignore your pet when it calls for attention : avoid stroking it, or even looking at it! It's up to you to decide when you want to pet it. A dog who spends a large part of the day alone, in the garden of the house, locked inside the house or in a box, or tied to a chain, generally releases more easily all the energy accumulated and restrained during its long moments of solitude. So when you come home in the evening, the crazy racing, jumping, licking and barking are nothing but manifestations of joy. Also at the start of the hunt, when the dogs get out of their carrier, it is not uncommon to see them jump and run around for some time: the hunt will soon begin and they know it. They are filled with joy and impatience. They therefore express themselves by adopting a hyperactive behaviour.
Besides these frequently encountered behaviour patterns, some of our four-legged friends actually suffer from unhealthy hyperactivity (again like human beings). In this case, it is strongly recommended to contact a veterinarian: the latter may, after specific examinations, confirm or deny this suspicion, and thus propose appropriate solutions. Finally, let's not forget that certain breeds of dogs (big game hunting dogs for example, and sled dogs: siberian husky, greenlander, etc.) have a lot of energy to get rid of: physical activity helps them do so!
As we discussed above, the most important thing is to adopt a coherent approach: if you choose to "turn your back" on your animal one day so as not to respond to its requests for attention, and the next day you "give in", your animal will understand that it can achieve its goals by overflowing with energy. However, that is not what you want! Humans must always be at the initiative of the contacts, and not the other way around. Obviously, upstream, the training phase plays a significant role. Are you trying to learn the basics of education with your children? With your dogs, education, self-discipline and obedience to simple commands are just as important to succeed in channeling their energy. Carrying out educational exercises at home (or with the help of a training professional) allows your helper to gain some self-control. For example, after giving it a “sit” type order and it does not move for a set period of time, reward it. Repeat the exercise if it does not obey, and continue training, in particular by increasing the duration. In so doing, your pet learns to focus on an order and keep calm. Many dogs become hyperactive when they don't get what they want right away: they can't wait. To channel the energy of the dog and make it wait, games are an excellent way: the dog will not have the impression of working, but of having fun. It will thus concentrate its energy on learning and listening to the order.
In summary, the first thing to do is to successfully identify the condition or conditions that trigger the excitement in your animal. Strive to act as a "leader" with your dog: in addition to reducing any possible anxiety, it is you who decides what you are going to do. In other words, it is you who decides, for example to give it a pat: where, when and how. Be consistent with the decisions you make, and don't go back on them. Do not respond to the requests of your companion, and make sure to strengthen its educational bases. Make it have fun, play, run... in addition to tiring it, these moments allow it to channel its energy. Then, teach it to self-control, whether at home or outside: your dog needs to understand that it needs to accept frustration when it happens. Finally, of course, do not hesitate to call a professional in dog behaviour: to wait and think that the situation will change on its own would be a mistake.
Have you found techniques to channel your dog's energy? Are you already following some of the advice given here? Don't hesitate to share your ideas with the community in the comments.